Devon Downeysmith, Communications Manager
Oregon Business for Climate
March 25, 2019
Oregon Cap and Trade Bill Sees Key Improvements
Bill amendment brings landmark policy one key step closer to passage.
PORTLAND, Ore. March 25 – HB 2020, Oregon’s proposed Cap and Trade policy, made a key advancement today. An omnibus amendment (HB 2020-31) released today largely aligns with Oregon Business for Climate principles: to ensure that Oregon meets its carbon reduction goals, and that the Cap and Trade program successfully links to the Western Climate Initiative. Oregon Business for Climate has spent months working with lawmakers and other key stakeholders to ensure that the bill’s language is as well defined as possible.
Oregon Business for Climate urges lawmakers to bring the bill to the floor for a vote as quickly as possible. “Oregon’s Cap and Trade policy has been over a decade in the making; this bill is strong and ready to go. It’s time we get it over the finish line,” says Tom Kelly, Board Chair of Oregon Business for Climate and Owner and President of Neil Kelly Company.
“Omnibus amendment HB 2020-31 helps strengthen the policy, and addresses concerns as expressed by our members. It shows our legislators are listening to their constituents. After an extensive hearing process, including remote hearings around the state wherein many of our members testified, and years of bipartisan work, the policy is ready to go. We must make sure that we maintain the provisions of the bill at its current levels, as amended. Any new exemptions or free allowances would be a step in the wrong direction,” says Nancy Hamilton, Co-Director of Oregon Business for Climate.
“While we are still reviewing the details of the amendments, we feel the main components of the bill remain in tact and that passing HB 2020 will enable Oregon to meet its emission reduction targets, link to other jurisdictions and advance our overall economic competitiveness.
Passing HB 2020 is how Oregon can catch up with global trends. 10 other states, as well as countries throughout the world are already operating with Cap and Trade programs in place; in each of these jurisdictions emissions are declining with economies thriving. Oregon should be next,” says Steve Baczko, Co-Director of Oregon Business for Climate.
Already businesses across Oregon are feeling the significant threats and risks that climate change poses to their livelihoods. HB 2020 presents a unique opportunity to advance state climate policy while strengthening Oregon’s economy:
- As a market-driven model, Cap and Trade is widely viewed as the most effective, efficient and flexible model for addressing climate change and lowering emissions.
- As it has in other jurisdictions, a Cap and Trade program in Oregon will encourage business innovation, investment, and job creation.
- The policy places a limit and price on climate pollution from the state’s largest emitters — those who produce 25,000 tons or more of greenhouse gases annually.
- Revenues raised from the program will be reinvested into communities across Oregon to advance clean energy alternatives and contribute to worldwide efforts to decarbonize the global economy.
- Program proceeds will drive innovation, economic growth and job creation.
About Oregon Business for Climate:
Oregon Business for Climate is a statewide organization focused on mobilizing industry support and business leadership towards advancing climate policy and instituting a price on carbon emissions while investing in Oregon’s clean economy. Our organization is comprised of over 100 businesses representing a wide range of industries, including those from the financial, energy, manufacturing, farming, transportation, sports and healthcare sectors. Our membership list includes Adidas, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Nike, Dutch Brothers Coffee, Capital Power Corporation, Uber, the Portland Timbers, the Portland Trail Blazers, Neil Kelly Company, Providence Health Services and Beneficial State Bank. A complete membership list is available on our website: orbizclimate.org/membership/members/